6 September 2002

Farmers marts in need of more help

FARMERS markets pump £166m/year into the rural economy, but could do even better with local authority help, claims a report.

Income to farmers who sell their own produce at the markets has soared two-and-a-half times within two years, according to a joint report by the NFU and the National Association of Farmers Markets that was released on Wednesday (Sept 4).

The organisations hope their findings will boost "Farmers Markets Month", which will see cookery demonstrations and hog roasts held at markets during September.

Farmers markets are part of a thriving industry in its own right in virtually every area of the country, the report says. But the document warns that more help is needed for markets to grow.

It calls for greater support from local tourist boards, reduced rental and facility fees from local authorities and less red tape from the government. &#42